Many people think you need to learn languages when you are little and if you don’t then it is too late. The truth is, it is never too late to learn a second language.
The only reason why children learn them quicker is because they are not afraid of making mistakes. In addition when learning a new language you are not the same person, your personality does not come through until you are more fluent. That is when most adults stop and revert to their mother tongue. They want to show themselves, tell jokes, tell a story and make a great first impression.
My top tips on how to learn languages are:
- Don’t be afraid of making mistakes. Most of the times it makes for a good laugh.
- Don’t give up, if you try to explain something in the language, try again. Don’t switch to your mother tongue.
- Be patient with yourself, learning languages takes time.
- Think about how you like to learn anything and learn best. Apply that to learning a language. If you are a very visual incorporate more visual methods to help learn a language.
- Find friends who are patient, who will help you learn and help correct you.
- Do everything as though you were in the country. Immerse yourself in the language. Speak/text friends who speak the language, watch foreign films, listen to the music, etc.
- Buy a variety of educational resources in the language you are learning. For example, visual dictionaries, books that come with audio so you can listen and read the same time, etc.
- Memorise the main verbs, because you need those to build sentences.
- Buy magazines of topics you like. Stories in magazines are short and good for learning. Do not buy novels as you will get lost in the text. Circle the words you do not know, look them up writing the meaning next to the word and read the text again.
- If you are doing all of the above, you should see a significant improvement after 3-4 months.
- Travel to the respective country of the language you are learning. However, given COVID it might not be possible. Not to worry though, I learned fluent Portuguese and never lived in Brazil. You can still do it.
The deepest connection you have with someone & their culture, in through learning the language. Learning another language is a beautiful thing and it allows you to connect with people at another level. It is a way of showing your interest and respect into their culture.
For any other question & advise feel free to contact me via IG @lingobabies
If you are parent and looking for bilingual resources for your kids please check out my series of bilingual books here